Sleep well, wake refreshed and happy

I’ve struggled with sleep most of my life.

When I was a little girl I hated naps and bed time.

My child mind told me that if I slept I would miss something, anything. Missing anything meant I was missing fun. 

My eyes would just not stay closed, I would wake up really early and watch the shadows in the corners change as the light peeked through the window.

I remember one day in particular when my sister and I were sent to nap. Earlier that day, my 5 year old brain plotted a way of getting out of nap time. 

I dragged a saw horse across the back yard and put it under our bedroom window.

After a lunch of peanut butter sandwich and chicken noodle soup, we were shuffled off for a nap. I’m pretty sure I had a sly grin on my face because even today, my face reveals more than I know.

We were tucked in and the door shut. My sister began arguing with me over my plan. But we were as quiet as a 4 and 5 year old can be…ever heard a 4 and 5 year old whisper?

I insisted that we were going out the window. She in good second sister form started to not come at all, but rather she was going to tell on ME. Somehow, I got her to put both her feet out the window, onto the saw horse and a quick hop to the ground.

Out the window we went.

We sneaked around the house and skittered across the street into the English woods on a grand adventure full of magic and myth. 

We didn’t get caught the first time, not even the second time, but we did eventually get caught.

While I still recall the fun of finding a stable full of dairy cows and thrill of a gypsy (okay, maybe it was a hobo) campsite. I also remember the trouncing my tiny heiny took for scaring the pants off my parents.

To this day, I still wonder what’s happening when my eyes are closed and what grand things are going on that I’m not doing. When I wake up in the pre-dawn light, it’s very hard to stay in bed.

3 Sleep Tips, Hydrate early in the day, create a Pre-sleep ritual, Repeat positive affirmations as you fall asleep Screen Shot 2012-08-26 at 2.53.34 PMBut…I have learned that Sleeping Beauty was on to something…remember, she awoke still looking like the teenager?  That sleep has a magical (not really, it’s all science) effect on the body and the mind.

Sleep is the time when the mind resets and runs something like a de-frag program on a computer.  It sorts through the days happenings and thoughts processing them into hopefully usable memories or ideas.

Sleep is when the body restores.  Our body needs to rest. Even though every single cell in our body is different from the cells we were born with, just like a baby cannot thrive with sleep, we cant either.

Sleep is when the body balances hormones and releases excess hormonal waste (major simplification). Ever wonder why you are working out, eating all the right things and still have belly fat? Look at your sleep habits. Want to keep the belly fat? Keep your sleep habits. Want to release the belly fat? Upgrade your sleep habits.

Sleep is also important for regulating our vitality inducing hormones as well as our moods. Have you ever gone to bed with something heavy on your mind only to wake up with the realization that it isn’t as bad as you thought?

Sleep, whether good or bad will affect your weight, your skin, and your immunity to nasty bacteria, viruses and grumpy people. Want to get sick quick? Cut back on your sleep. Want to be mean to the meanies?  Cut back on your sleep and your sweet loving disposition will disappear allowing you to feel justified to be mean and get even.

 

So whats a wide eyed, radiant optimal health seeker to do?

It’s simple really.

 

I’ll give you a hint…the very same thing you do to help an infant fall and stay asleep.

  • Have a schedule and stick to it. Yes, it really does a body good to go to sleep at the same time every night. Set a time that you will be in bed with no electronic distractions and put it in your calender. If it isn’t scheduled, it isn’t important to you. Seriously, if sleep is important to you, schedule it.

Did you know the National Sleep Foundation suggests that school age children get 10-11 hours of sleep daily, while teens do best with 8.5-10 hours and adults need 7-9 hours?

  • Create a sleep routine. I call it a ritual because the intention is to promote health and vitality in my body, my soul’s house. Keep it simple.

Did you know that lack of sufficient and quality sleep has been directly related to weight gain and mental impairment in both adults and children?

  • Dim the lights at least 45 minutes before bedtime. This helps your hormonal system to reset itself.
  • Turn off electronics unless you are listening to soothing music. Do not go to bed with your smart phone, iPad or TV remote!
  • Use soothing essential oils like Calming Blend or Lavender. Both are highly effective in promoting deep relaxation without groggy side effects.

Rub a drop on your feet, on your belly, on your forehead and the back of your neck for really great sleep.  Put a drop on your pillow. I like to place 4- 8 drops in a cup of Epsom salt then add to my bath water for those evenings when I’m really wound up or over tired.

  • Be sure your room is dark, dark, dark or use a sleep mask. You know that light shining from your digital clock? It interrupts the hormonal changes your body needs to experience deep restful sleep.
  • Supplement your diet with high value supplements. Even if, like me, you juice, eat clean, local, whole foods 80% of the time, our food supply is deficient in nutrients. Our bodies are under tremendous stress and need the support. Our brains need optimal nourishment to regulate our hormones so we can sleep. Want to know which supplements I use and suggest to my clients? Send me an email and I’ll let you know.
  • Get out of bed at the same time every morning. You can always go back to bed if you want.  Getting up at the same time every morning will help to reset your circadian (internal sleep) rhythms.

 

Tell me…

How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? Are you happy, ready to go and excited for the day? Do you have a good sleep tip to share, what is it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing Rommy. These are all great tips I try to incorporate into my life every day. But I think you forgot the most important to me: diffuse essential oils by my bed! Zzzzzzzz…..

    • OMgoodness! I love diffusing Serenity beside my bed every night. My favorite diffuser is the AromaLite because it runs like a Lionel Richie song….all night long! LOL

  2. Great tips Rommy- thanks for sharing! I spent many years thinking that 5 hours of sleep a night were plenty. Now, we take time to relax in the evening, have a regular bedtime and my husband and I have a routine of using Lavender, Serenity and Vetiver EO’s. We sleep like babies now 🙂

  3. No electronics by the bed. There has a been a lot of studies that talk about EMF’s and the effects on not only sleep but behavior. I just posted all about sleep today so this blog is timely for me! I use an essential oil called Peace and Calming for sleep and my daughter loves to breathe it in and it immediately relaxes her.

  4. Such a fun article, Rommy! Thanks for sharing your childhood story, but also for the great tips for better sleep! I really enjoyed reading this.

  5. Wonderful article! When time is scarce, sleep is usually the first area that gets downsized. It is easy to forget just how necessary it is. I especially loved how you mentioned the importance of not taking electronics to bed, it is so easy to do and sleep suffers. I also like what you said about waking up at the same time every day even if you go back to bed. I have practiced this for a while now and it is very effective. One thing I try to do is make sure that I only sleep in my bed, no TV, no eating, no chatting on the phone, that way when you are in bed your body is conditioned to sleep. Thank you for sharing these tips and your story!

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